Composting Worm Feeding Guide: Best and Worst Foods

What are the best foods to feed composting worms? What are the worst foods? People who compost with worms face these questions every day. Fortunately, Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has this Worm Feeding Guide! Vermicomposting is easy if you know the right foods to feed the worms — and the foods to avoid. Qualities of Ideal Foods for Worms Composting worms are hungry for your kitchen left-overs, garden waste, and coffee grounds! The best foods for worms come from plants. This includes grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Plant matter is filled with nutrients and vitamins that worms need. Their excrement, called “humus,” contains digested nutrients and earth-friendly bacteria. Humus makes an ideal fertilizer for growing new plants. Worms do not have teeth. Their little mouths take in the

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Composting Kitchen Surpluses: Eggshells, Coffee Grounds, and Orange Peels

At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we get questions about how to compost three common kitchen scraps: eggshells, coffee grounds, and orange peels. These are all popular foods and beverages. On average, we consume approximately 1 egg and 2 cups of coffee per day. That’s a lot of scraps! Fortunately, composting worms can take the burden off landfills and incinerators. These and many other kitchen scraps can be turned into free fertilizer by composting them with worms. Composting can be successful at any scale. Single apartment dwellers, large families, restaurants, coffee shops and even institutions can compost unwanted organic materials. If you don’t already have a composting program

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What do to with Kitchen Scraps: Reduce, Compost, and Re-Grow

Your kitchen trash has a significant amount of organic material. Much of this is compostable. Hauling organic matter off for landfill internment or incineration is a huge waste of energy and potential. Can kitchen scraps be re-grown into new food plants easily? What can you do to reduce the production of kitchen scraps and wasted food? Can composting help? Re-Grow Plants You can save money and perpetuate the chain of life by re-growing plants. Cutting vegetables in a certain way and cultivating the clippings results in new baby plants. These can be eaten and they are free. Chop the bottom off celery and place in a bowl with a small amount of warm water. Place in direct sunlight. When the leaves start to thicken and grow on the base, transplant to the soil in your garden, greenhouse or container. Left-over whole lettuce, cabbage and Bok Choy leaves can be placed in a bowl with a very small amount of water in the bottom. Place in sunlight. Mist the leaves with water every other day. In three to four days, roots will appear. Plant in the soil.

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Indoor Composting with Worms: 4 Tips from Uncle Jim

Vermicomposting is a great way to reduce trash and make free fertilizer. Composting worms will eat most of the inedible scraps from the kitchen, as well as many left-overs. This is better for the environment than tossing it into the trash. The result is dark, rich organic fertilizer. Worm excrement is treasured by gardeners because it helps plants grow. While most composting is done outdoors, you can run a successful composting program indoors. Some worm owners move operations indoors during the winter. Others do indoor composting year-round for convenience or due to lack of suitable outdoor space. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has these four tips for successful indoor composting.

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How to Avoid Over-Feeding Composting Worms

If you are composting with worms, you need to feed them the right quantity of food scraps. How much food is too much? Over-feeding your composting worms can cause problems in the bin, including odors, acidity, excess moisture, pests and sick worms. What should you do to prevent and address these issues? Here are Uncle Jim’s guidelines for feeding the right amount of scraps to composting worms. Quick Check: How Much Food is In There? Dig around in the bin. How much undigested organic material is in there? The worms should start working on a feeding within a few days and finish it within 1 to 2 weeks. If you see large amounts of food, you are probably overfeeding. Under ideal conditions, worms can eat their weight in scraps per day. So if you have 1 pound of worms, you can theoretically feed them 1 pounds of scraps. However, we recommend you play it safe by feeding an amount they can handle every 2 or 3 days. Over-Feeding Causes Odors The most noticeable sign of overfeeding is a foul odor. Worm bins should have an earthy smell. If your nose is offended, your worm bin needs improvement. The worms’ job is to eat the

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A Guide to Successful Indoor Composting with Worms

Vermicomposting can be done almost anywhere, indoors and out. Using worms to break down your food scraps is great for the environment. Composting results in a dark, rich fertilizer that is perfect for gardening. Composting indoors is a bit trickier, but it can be done successfully. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm offers this easy-to-use guide to indoor composting with worms. Reasons why people compost indoors include: want convenient indoor access to the composting bin concern that composting worms outdoors won’t survive the winter (although they might lay eggs or could be replaced with a fresh bag of worms in the spring) want to continue strong composting program year-round, in spite of cold or heat apartment or city dweller with no yard no room on property for an outdoor bin It is possible to compost outdoors without

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Composting with Worms in Cold Weather

When the weather is cold, your worm outdoor composting program might need some adjustments. Worm are living creatures that can be harmed by low temperatures. You can choose not to worry about it, or you can take steps to protect the worms. Either way, your composting program can continue throughout the winter. If you let nature take its course, your worms might expire. The center bottom of your worm bin will probably be the warmest part. They will likely migrate there. The decomposition process generates some heat. However, if you live anywhere in the northern United States, chances are the worms won’t make it. It is possible your worms will have laid eggs. These hardy eggs can survive the cold temperatures. If you don’t see many worms in

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Worm Blankets and Lids: Best Coverings for Your Worm Bin

Composting with worms usually involves covering the bin to control moisture. Worms respond to their environment. If their world is too wet or too dry, they will be less productive and possibly even die. Composting with worms is a great way to turn kitchen and gardening scraps to into valuable fertilizer. One key to success is finding the best covering for your worm bin. Worm bins can be indoors or outdoors. Indoor composting systems are typically small, tray-based plastic composters, such as the Worm Factory 360 (which can also go outside). The Worm Farm Kit and bins made from plastic totes can be used indoors or outdoors. Outdoors composters can be tray-based, or large bins. These can be made from plastic, wooden pallets, lumber, or chicken wire. Coverings for Indoor Composters Indoor composters are not subject to the same temperature and

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Why are My Composting Worms Trying to Escape?

Worms in a vermicomposting bin sometimes try to escape. If it’s just one or two adventurous worms, you don’t have much to worry about. However, if you see worms clumping near the top of the bin, at the air ducts, or climbing out, something may be amiss. Let’s find out why composting worms try to escape, and what you can do about it. Note: Worms are sensitive to the weather. If a low pressure system or thunderstorm is moving in, the worms might start clumping and climbing. Watch for a while and see if this is the pattern. If so, do not worry. Need..Gasp..Oxygen Worms breathe through their skins. If they don’t have enough air, they will try to leave the bin. Lack of oxygen could be caused by:

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